Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
One day someone will ask me to write a cook book. It’s going to be a recipe book full of yummy desserts all with a hidden secret; they’ll all contain vegetables. I know, it isn’t a totally original idea. There was Jessica Seinfeld’s book, Deceptively Delicious, and many others since then but mine will be different, tastier and healthier. Why you ask? let me tell you!
Many of the books that have preceded my (imaginary) own were aimed at getting kids to eat more vegetables. My (wannabe) cook book will be using veggies as not only sneaky ingredients but also as the star of the sweet dish. Don’t underestimate the moistness that Sweet Potato can bring to a cake, or how cauliflower can give it a creamy texture. Sure, beetroot bread may not sound like everyone’s cup of tea but add in some rum soaked raisins and spices and you’re on a winner.
My (fictional) cookbook is not just for kids; it’s for all lovers of desserts… even those who hate vegetables! The trick to baking desserts with vegetables is highlighting their good side by knowing what to pair them with. Cinnamon to Carrot, Cardamom to Zucchini, Pumpkin to… hold on; I’m giving away too much information! You won’t want to buy the (make believe) book! But you see my point. Vegetables are never bland unless you make them that way; so bedazzle your brassicas and make them awesome!
I do fear that I am slowly becoming “that crazy Sweet Potato Woman”. You know, “The one who is turning orange because she adds Sweet potato to everything” is what they will whisper behind my back. Sadly it is true, but if it means I get to eat this Sweet Potato, Caramel and Chocolate Tiramisu Cake then I’m happy to be called the Queen of Kumara.
This Sweet Potato, Caramel and Chocolate Tiramisu Cake is the cover recipe for my (wishful) cook book. It is made from layers of sweet potato cake, coffee syrup, mascarpone cream, cocoa, caramel sauce and ganache. It looks decadently naughty, but underneath all those layers is a simple Sweet Potato cake.
This cake was inspired by a Salted Caramel Tiramisu recipe I saw at Easter, but I wanted to add my own vegetable spin to it. The Sweet Potato isn’t overpowering; in fact it’s quite mellow compared to the coffee syrup, but including it makes you feel better about licking the left over caramel off the plate. The traditional elements of a Tiramisu are all here; the coffee, the Marsala (or orange juice for a non-alcoholic version) and the mascarpone cream. Add to that three layers of caramel sauce and topping it off with chocolate ganache and it’s a Dinnert winner! (Dinnert being my made up word for dinner and dessert in one; although this Sweet Potato, Caramel and Chocolate Tiramisu Cake is definitely more nert than din!)
This dessert is easier than it looks, especially if you use store bough Mascarpone (you can make your own diary free version here but it will take two days. I’ll be honest; I bought mine this time. It was Easter and I was too tired and busy). Whilst the cake is baking make the mascarpone cream mixture and caramel sauce. By the time the cake has cooled the cream will have thickened in the fridge and sauce will be cool enough to spread. Assemble the cake in a 5 or 6 inch spring form cake tin (it will make removing it much easier but if you only have a normal tin make sure you allow long edges on your baking paper to make it easier to remove) and put it in the fridge overnight. Before serving cover the top layer with melted chocolate and then go nuts with the remaining caramel.
People will be talking about this cake for weeks; and not just because you put some vegetables in it but because it was SO GOOD!
Do you like using vegetable in desserts? Will you buy my (pretend) book?
PS. Brassicas are a genus of vegetable, and I wasn’t making a rude pun!
PPS. Kumara is another name given to Sweet Potatoes; as is Ipomoea batatas but I can’t pronounce that.
- 3 Eggs, separated
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 300 grams Whipped Coconut Cream (see recipe below)
- 250 grams Mascarpone Cream –use store bought or make your own dairy free (see notes)
- 1/2 Cup freshly brewed Coffee (strength to taste depending on coffee love)
- 1/3 Cup Marsala (Brandy, Rum, Irish Cream or Kaluha can be used instead. For a non-alcoholic version try grape juice or orange juice)
- 1 Tablespoon Cocoa,
- 1 serve Caramel Sauce (approximately 3/4 Cup) (see recipe below)
- 1 Sweet Potato Sheet Cake (see recipe below)
- Ganache (see recipe below)
- This recipe will make approximately 3 cups and you only need (approximately) 2 cups.
- 2 cans Coconut Cream/Milk (400ml can), lid removed and placed in the fridge over night
- 4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 4 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 3/4 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Coconut Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 6 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup puréed roasted Sweet Potato (to cook sweet potato; place whole and unpeeled in a moderate oven for 60 minutes or until soft in the middle. When cooled; cut in half length ways and scoop out the cooked sweet potato)
- 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup or Rice Malt Syrup
- 3/4 Cup Milk (of choice)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 Cups Coconut Cream
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
- dash of Salt
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1/3 Cup Coconut Cream (the thickened cream taken from an opened and chilled can of coconut cream)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa (sifted- or at least no lumps)
- Place the egg yolks and the maple syrup into the bowl of a kitchen stand mixer with a beater attachment and beat until pale and thick (3-5 minutes).
- Add the whipped cream and mascarpone cream and beat gently until combined.
- In a separate, clean bowl add the egg whites and whisk until soft peaks form (this can be done in a kitchen stand or with a hand whisk).
- Fold the egg whites into the cream mixture until no white streaks remain.
- Cover the cream and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to thicken.
- This cake can be constructed in either a 5 or 6 inch spring form cake tin. I have used a 6 inch tin. It can also be made by cutting the cake into 3 long rectangular pieces to make a bar cake/slice.
- Take the bottom of the chosen tin and cut 2 circles from the sweet potato sheet cake. Make sure at least 1 of the circles is complete. The scraps will be used to complete the 2nd circle (if needed) and form the 3rd, bottom layer. If making a bar cake cut the sheet cake into 3 long pieces.
- Take a 6 or 5 inch spring form tin and line the bottom with baking paper. Line the sides of the tin, ensuring that the paper goes above the level of the tin edges (you can always add the 2 layer if needed during construction). Make sure the paper is greased.
- Using the scraps of the cake, press the pieces into the bottom of the cake tin to fill the bottom of the spring form tin. It won't look pretty but it doesn't matter as there will be 5 layers on top and it will never be seen.
- Combine the coffee and Marsala (or alternative) in a small bowl. Gently pour/spoon 1/3 of the mixture evenly over the cake.
- Spread 1/3 of the mascarpone cream mix evenly over the bottom cake layer. Dollop and spread 1/3 of the caramel sauce over the cream and then evenly dust with 1/2 Tablespoon of Cocoa.
- Top with a layer of cake (the almost full layer of cake; use more scraps to complete the layer) and evenly pour 1/3 of the coffee/Marsala over the cake and repeat the steps from the previous layer.
- Place the full cake layer on top and evenly pour the remaining coffee/Marsala over the cake.
- Cover the cake n plastic wrap and place the cake in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours (overnight is better and up to 24 hours is ok). Remove the cake from the fridge and the tin and spread the remaining cream on the top and around the sides. Return to the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Make the ganache and gently spread it over the top of the cream. Allow the ganache to drip down the sides. Drizzle the remaining Caramel Sauce over the top of the cake and serve.
- This amazingly awesome cake needs to be kept in the fridge between serves.
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
- Line and grease a 32cm x 27cm baking tray (a similar size will be fine. Just make sure you'll be able to cut at least 1 3/4 circles out the size of the spring form tin you will be using. The rest if the circles will be made from the left over cake).
- Place the egg whites into the clean bowl of a kitchen stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
- Whisk the egg whites on medium/high until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the maple syrup, 1 tablespoon at a time, until large peaks have formed,
- Continue whisking on medium/high and add the vanilla extract.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Only add the next yolk when the previous one has been fully incorporated. Whilst still whisking, add the purred sweet potato and pour the milk into the egg mixture.
- In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the coconut flour and baking powder together. Ensure that the coconut flour has no lumps in it.
- Turn the whisk to low and add the flour mixture. (If you keep it on high then you will most likely end up wearing the flour). Once incorporated, return the whisk speed to medium/high to fully mix all the ingredients.
- Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tray.
- Spoon the thickened cream out of the can, discarding the watery remains.
- Place the coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and whisk on high until thickened. Place the whipped cream back in the fridge to thicken before using.
- Place the coconut cream, maple syrup and salt in a saucepan over medium/high heat.
- Bring the mixture to boil, then reduce to a medium heat.
- Allow the mixture to simmer until quite thick and dark golden in colour. Stir regularly to prevent burning.
- This will take 15-20 minutes, depending on the quality of your coconut cream.
- Add vanilla and continue to cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes.
- The caramel will be dark golden in colour and delicious.
- When cooler, place into container and keep in fridge. The caramel will thicken as it refrigerates.
- Put the cream, vanilla and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until it has combined and is in a liquid state (you don't want it to boil- just be warm).
- Remove from the heat and sift in the cocoa, stirring until combined and smooth. Put it in the fridge (or freezer if you are rushed for time) until it reaches the right spreadable consistency (5-30 minutes depending on how hot the cream got). It can be spread, piped etc.
- To make your own Dairy Free Mascarpone visit here: http://mummymade.it/2014/08/marscarpone-cream-dairy-free.html